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Adrian Bejan and the Constructal Law
The imperative in fund-raising and in all business enterprises is to make the right things happen and overcome inertia. As Marvin Bower, founder of the modern-day McKinsey has observed, “Success is based on a few simple things. The challenge is that you have to do them.”
As a life-process, fund-raising is driven by the laws of physics. The giving of money represents motion on the part of the donor; the amount of the gift represents the magnitude of that motion. It is extremely helpful to take out your #2 pencil and write down the obvious: the event of a gift results from an action or series of actions. As the great physicist Adrian Bejan has explained, “Nothing moves unless it is driven, forced, pushed or pulled.”
Bejan, the J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor at Duke University, has developed The Constructal Law that explains what is necessary for all systems, animate and inanimate, to develop over time: “For a flow system to persist in time, it must grow with freedom such that it continuously offers easier and greater access for what flows through it.”
Whatever flow systems are your responsibility I urge you to dig into Adrian’s work and explanations. The three books highlighted below are a great way to begin.
More knowledge transfer
Principles to work by:
“Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill.”
“Some people see things as they are and ask why. I dream things that never were, and ask why not.”
“Success is based on a few simple things. The challenge is that you have to do them.”
“Whenever you see a successful business, someone has made a courageous decision.”
“Seize any opportunity, or anything that looks like opportunity. They are rare, much rarer than you think. Remember that positive Black Swans have a necessary first step: you need to be exposed to them.”
“All Life Is Problem Solving”
“Circumstances—what are circumstances? I make circumstances.”
“To aspire to any kind of leadership in business you simply have to be a rational optimist.”
“The key to future competitive advantage will be the organization’s capacity to create the social architecture capable of generating intellectual capital. And leadership is the key to realizing the full potential of intellectual capital.”
"A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."
“When the facts change, I change my opinion. And what did you do, [sir]?"
"If fear is cultivated it will become stronger; if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery."